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The statins are a class of pharmaceuticals that act by competitively inhibiting 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase. The reductase is an enzyme involved in the liver cholesterol synthesis. The drugs are the most potent cholesterol lowering agents (LDL-cholesterol), however, they are less effective than the fibrates[?] in reducing triglycerides and raising HDL-cholesterol[?]. The statins play an important role in primary and secondary prevention of ischaemic heart disease and myocardial infarct.

There is ongoing research for other actions of statins apart from lipid-lowering for instance - anti-inflammatory or anti-dementive.

The statins are (brand names in coutries other than the US can be different):

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